Learn to speak your shaper’s lan­guage

Surfer - - Contents -

Blank: Rough-molded foam core that comes in dif­fer­ent ba­sic de­signs and rock­ers de­pend­ing on the length and type of surf­board be­ing shaped. Usu­ally made from polyurethane foam.

Epoxy: Type of plas­tic resin used by some man­u­fac­tur­ers in place of polyester resin. Usu­ally an epoxy-user also uses an EPS blank, which can be badly af­fected by stan­dard polyester resins. Known for its dura­bil­ity.

Ex­panded Poly­styrene (EPS): A type of foam also known as Sty­ro­foam or bead foam. Poly­styrene beads are ex­panded by steam in a mold, with de­sired den­sity de­ter­mined by the quan­tity of beads ex­panded within that mold.

Polyurethane (PU): The most com­mon type of foam used in surf­board man­u­fac­tur­ing. Usu­ally em­ployed to­gether with polyester resin.

Car­bon Fiber: A strong com­pound, soak­able in resin, is oc­ca­sion­ally laid in strips along the length, rails, or tails of a board dur­ing glass­ing to help pre­vent creasing.

Foil: The dis­tri­bu­tion of foam from nose to tail on a surf­board. For the board to flow cor­rectly, it must have an even vol­ume through the shape. If there is ex­ces­sive foam left in the nose, cen­ter, or tail, it will cre­ate un­even flow and cause the surf­board to be un­bal­anced.

Bot­tom Con­tour: The lat­eral curve of the bot­tom of the board as it runs from rail to rail. Can be flat, con­vex, con­cave, or a com­bi­na­tion.

Drive: The re­sult of wa­ter pass­ing along the bot­tom sur­face of a surf­board, caus­ing ac­cel­er­a­tion along the face of a wave. A key fac­tor for con­trol and di­rec­tion, af­fected heav­ily by choice of fin setup.

Channels: The chan­nel bot­tom con­sists of flat planes that are de­signed in a con­cave con­fig­u­ra­tion. Since the channels sit side by side, the wa­ter isn’t com­pressed as it is in a full con­cave, and each chan­nel pro­pels wa­ter down the un­der­belly of the surf­board and con­verts it into for­ward thrust. Longer and deeper channels cre­ate a more pro­nounced ef­fect.

Con­cave: The main pur­pose of con­cave is to chan­nel the wa­ter flow down the length of the surf­board. This chan­nel­ing of the wa­ter along the cen­ter of the board and out through the tail adds more lift and re­spon­sive­ness to the surf­board. Con­caves are an im­por­tant design fea­ture that can cause a board to track swiftly and im­prove tail re­spon­sive­ness for crit­i­cal turns.

Drag: The ef­fect that causes wa­ter flow to be slowed or dis­rupted as it passes along a surf­board’s sur­faces. Con­trolled drag is an es­sen­tial re­quire­ment of surf­board design.

Rails: The perime­ter of the board. There are sev­eral dif­fer­ent types of rails that all pro­duce a dif­fer­ent ef­fect. Soft and rounded rails make the board slower, but eas­ier to han­dle. Down rails in­crease speed, but make the board more dif­fi­cult to turn. Sharper rails pro­mote quick turns, but don’t carry mo­men­tum as well as fuller rails.

50/50: A pro­por­tional dis­tri­bu­tion of rail where the widest point is at the mid­point of the rail.

Down Rails: A rail that comes to an edge at the bot­tom of the board.

Rolled Rails: Down rails that are rolled un­der the board.

Round Rails: A rounded edge that is al­most a com­plete semi­cir­cle.

Rocker: The curve of your surf­board from nose to tail. It can be bro­ken down into dif­fer­ent sec­tions such as nose rocker, tail rocker, and cen­ter. It af­fects the flow of wa­ter from en­try to re­lease.

Re­lease: The ef­fect that al­lows wa­ter flow to be ac­cel­er­ated as it passes along a surf­board’s sur­faces. Re­lease is al­tered through tail rocker, out­line curves, trail­ing fin edges, and through bot­tom fea­tures such as con­caves and channels. Con­trolled re­lease (along with its op­po­site, drag) is es­sen­tial to suc­cess­ful surf­board design.

Tails: The back sec­tion of the board. Tails are cru­cial in de­ter­min­ing how a surf­board will func­tion. In­creased tail width means greater speed, es­pe­cially in smaller surf, but less con­trol; nar­rower tails don’t ma­neu­ver as well, but ad­here bet­ter to the wave face and are ideal for tube rid­ing and big-wave boards.

Pin: This tail con­verges into a sharp pin­point and func­tions op­ti­mally in large waves due to its min­i­mal sur­face area.

Round: With a bit more sur­face area than the rounded pin, the round tail per­forms best in mid-range surf, al­low­ing for smooth turns.

Rounded Pin: Op­ti­mal for rail surf­ing and can hold in big­ger con­di­tions.

Square: Fea­tures sharp, rec­tan­gu­lar edges and al­lows for speedy, an­gu­lar surf­ing.

Squash: The squash is a square­tail with rounded edges, which soft­ens the feel and lessens re­spon­sive­ness. The squash has be­come a sta­ple of short­boards.

Swal­low: Swal­low­tails are marked by a vee cut into the tail, leav­ing what looks like a swal­low’s tail. It al­lows for a wider tail and more speed while main­tain­ing ma­neu­ver­abil­ity.

Vee: The op­po­site of con­cave, vee is used to loosen up the tail at high speeds by in­creas­ing the rocker at the rail line, mak­ing it eas­ier to lean on edge and turn.

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